I have a beautiful equine friend on Facebook, we've followed each other for many years. Ruella Yates of Spirit Horse Ranch teaches and practices Liberty Foundation Training with people and horses to help them communicate and learn their own innate abilities to have a deeper relationship with their horses.
"I train using Native American and Old West traditions in a 'new' way of liberty training that is as old as the time horses and the 'first people' came together in the American West. My life with horses is profound in every way. What I learn from them, I bring to my students. My goal is making the world a better place for horses." -Ruella Yates"
Ruella lost her husband, Skeetz, a few days ago. I knew he was in home hospice and he'd had a lot of health issues the last year. I was also his FB friend and he seemed like just a sweet guy. Plus I always loved his name and should have named a goat after him or something.
Ruella and I aren't the kind of friends that talk all the time, but we share love of horse, land, nature, peace, farm and Native American teachings. When I saw that Skeetz died, I took a deep breath in. I mainly thought of Ruella. And to be honest, I thought of me and Martyn. I told Ruella once she and Skeetz were sort of our role models for the coming years-still working together amongst the animals. As time wore on, Skeetz of course lost his ability to do a lot of the work he loved. We watch from our vista of age 62 as our elder friends go through what we will inevitably go through-at some point, one one of us will be without the other here on earth.
The day after Skeetz died, I awoke thinking about him. Ruella had told me she hoped he would be met by her beloved horse Ren who also died not long ago. And that is what I clearly awoke to-Skeetz meeting Ren again.
Now, I am not a religous person. I was not raised in a household that practiced anything. I had to learn over the years what my beliefs are and I always say they are entwined in Nature. I listen to the Native teachings and do believe in "God" but I don't see God as a teacher as much as a part of all of us, of our higher power we all can achieve from within. And Jesus, Buddha, they are all teachers. And I have learned to not ignore, or shame, my instinctive internal conversations with the dead or dying or living-be it animal or human. I'm not perfect in translating them, but I try to always recognize that this for me is Spirit talking.
So I woke up and there it was in my head, an internal movie screen, I see Skeetz with a horse. And I went to my studio and quickly painted it from my heart, for Ruella.
Just as I see the departed Jason as a dragonfly, or my mother as a dove, and often a cardinal pair with my father, or my friend Joanne on my fateful ride as a butterfly....I saw Skeetz with Ren. I just don't question it.
I know this little heartfelt scribble gave her comfort. No matter what the belief, she knew I felt it and in that way it feels real, I think, that Ren found Skeetz, and he is okay.